We here in the gaming community are no strangers to the console war. Microsoft and Sony battling it out trying to influence their potential customers to buy their brand new piece of hardware.
It is has been part of console gaming for as long as there has been a choice in what console to own. Back in the day it was Sega and Nintendo, with Sega throwing out sick barbs like “Genesis does what Nintendon’t”. However, when the sick barbs had been thrown and the dust had settled the discussion shifted to; “Well Sega has; Sonic, Altered Beast and Golden Axe but Nintendo has; Mario, Zelda and Metroid”
Because back in the good old days if you wanted to influence potential consumers you had to give them experiences they couldn’t get anywhere else. And the same has been true for quite some time… Well until Timed Exclusivity came along and fucked it all up.
Timed Exclusivity is where a company like Microsoft or Sony drops a huge wad of cash on the desk of a developer in order to delay the release of something to the competitor.
Now not only is this horrendously shady practice anti-consumer, it is basically punishing the players who did not buy your system. The whole thing is absurd and is just really starting to get noticed.
Back when this practice really started to get noticed was when Microsoft snagged the exclusive deal with Activision to keep Call of Duty DLC for a month on Xbox 360 before it releases for PlayStation 3, this meant that PS3 players had to look on in envy as brand new content rolled out to Xbox players a whole month before it would get to them.
However, back then the Xbox 360 was the top dog console, as soon as the PlayStation 4 released and took the lead out of Microsoft’s hands while they were busy trying to figure out how to incorporate television into another conference, so too did the deal shift.
Suddenly Sony were top dogs and where getting the DLC and even early access to the Black Ops 3 beta, And the Microsoft crowd where finally starting to experience that same feeling of anger and jealousy that PlayStation users where all too familiar with last generation.
The whole thing was shady bullshit back then and it is shady bullshit now! However, taking this idea of paying for DLC one step further Microsoft rather infamously dropping the cash in Square Enix’s lap to delay the release of Rise of The Tomb Raider for PS4 and PC. PC would get the game a few months after; but PS4 players would have to wait til Holiday 2016, a whole year after the release to finally play it.
It has swung back around again as Microsoft have once again paid Capcom to launch Dead Rising 4 exclusively for PC and Xbox One a year before it will launch anywhere else. I know Sony have also done the same thing with Final Fantasy 7 as the reveal trailer had it tagged as “Play it first on PlayStation 4” so Sony are exempt from pulling this kind of crap.
But, the question I gotta ask is simply: “Who does this benefit?” I am a PS4 and occasional PC player, learning that Rise of The Tomb Raider and Dead Rising 4 was coming to my system a year later made me think; “Well, I will just wait, not going to buy a new console to play a game I can play on my PC or on my PS4 later” and I am not the only person with this view point, as countless players express their frustration toward Microsoft and Sony for continually pulling these stupid deals.
My experience on PlayStation 4 is not somehow made better because Xbox One players gotta wait one month for that Call of Duty DLC, the same as an Xbox One player is not having so much better a time on Rise of The Tomb Raider because those PlayStation 4 players got to wait a year before they can get it.
Wouldn’t you rather see the absurd amounts of money thrown into getting better games, better services and features on your system of choice rather than denying the competitors install base content? Hell I don’t know about you but I wish Sony had kept that Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Call of Duty DLC timed exclusivity and put it into you know… improving their online infrastructure.
Or to see Microsoft stop throwing money into denying the PlayStation players content for a timed period and put it into making better exclusive games. These deals benefit nobody. The consumers on the good side of the deal aren’t having a better experience knowing that the other guys gotta wait and the ones on the bad side of the deal are not wanting to go out and buy the competitors console because they know it is coming to them eventually.
Sony, Microsoft please… Back off this stupid practice and start throwing money into places where it benefits your consumer and tempts potential consumers. It should not be about who can threaten the other side with a 2nd rate experience and it should be about who can give the customer the best experience.
What do you think? Timed Exclusivity preventing you from enjoying the games you are excited about? Or are you entirely indifferent? Drop your thoughts down below!